Friday, February 18, 2005

happy birthday!

It is Atrios' birthday, so I will stop being lazy and add a link to him on my page. Don't have that much traffic here, so it may not be noticed, but I read Eschaton damn near daily so it only makes sense.

So, Happy birthday Atrios!


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The War On Not-War

Pandagon used the phrase 'the War on Not-War' and I thought it was worth spreading. I'll be using it from here on out.

Pandagon: Five Years, Same As Debt: "the War on Not-War"

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Hit it til it breaks!!!!

Every year at our family farm down in the epicenter of the Deep South, we have a huge multi-day New Year's party. We've been doing it for years, originally just a gathering of my siblings with our similarly aged cousins and an excuse for us to run around like fools shooting bottle-rockets at one another and burn/blow things up. More fun than you might imagine if you have never tried it, but this post isn't specifically about the joys of redneck amusements and the fine art of entertaining yourself in life-endangering ways in rural regions, but rather what has come out of this annual gathering and how it can guide us in the year to come.

This gathering has been perhaps the single most stable recurring event in my life to date, and I think it is treated similarly by many of those who attend (which now numbers far beyond the bounds of blood kinship). There are several people who I only ever see at this party, but I see them there every year. There is something comforting in having a little bit of regularity in a chaotic world and we have some solid traditions that have become a part of the ritual.

The Burning Caldron of Death is probably the oldest and the most important and car chase is a favorite when we can get the old cars running and my mom's marinated sandwiches are the most beloved edible tradition. But the one that sets the tone for the year is the motto.

The motto is decided by a fairly undemocratic process of taking silly and misunderstood statements that come across as unintentionally profound and after little discussion, declaring one of the statements the motto for the year, our guiding light to help get everyone back safely to the next New Year's.

I can't remember them all, should have been writing them down all these years but I can remember a few.

See with your feet. (can't remember the origin)

There may be no point in sitting either. (statement made by my drunk brother to our youngest brother who had just implored him to sit down because 'there is no point in standing'.)

Last year's motto was two fold:

Don't hurt beautiful things/Don't be hurt by beautiful things. (don't remember the origin clearly enough to recount, but I managed to fail on both counts, although I did make it safely through to a new year and reflected on the motto continuously the whole long way.)

Anyway, enough of years past, this year keeping the homemade, woodburning hottub running required chopping a lot of damn firewood and most of it was being chopped out of this huge hickory that had fallen. The cross-sections of the tree were near three feet in diameter, and the wood split easily once you made that first break, but getting that first split took a hell of a lot of hitting. In coaching my brother to get the first crack in a particularly stubborn piece, our friend Mike cheered him on with "Just hit it til it breaks!" Looking forward to an uncertain year and coming off of one in which we had all been frustrated out of our minds and begun to question our generally positive view of folks in general, my brother and I almost instantly looked at one another and knew this had the potential for being our new motto. And as it became clear that no one was going to utter anything close to as appropriate, the official motto it became. No more kinder gentler crap. This is a tough year and it calls for tough action. No more playing nice and expecting others to. This year, if something gets in your way, hit it til it breaks. Faced with inane stupidity? Apathy? Misinformation? HIT IT TIL IT BREAKS!!!!

I don't know the identity of the Rude Pundit, so he may have been at my New Year's shindig (although I doubt it), but he seems to be on the same page, as does Digby:

The Rude Pundit: "this story should be hammered on until something cracks."

Hullabaloo (Read Digby's post and tell me he isn't ready to hit it til it breaks, too)

No more chickenshit politeness while assholes and hypocrites direct the public dialogue through bullying and lies.

I have personally adopted my whole family (ok, anyone whose email I could find on the forward lists that various family members included me on) and am forwarding them obsessively from progressing sources. Yes, they can delete some of the stuff and they can ignore it all, but most of these folks that don't really read the newspaper or digest it very well seem to read most anything you put in their in box (which, judging from the sampling I have seen of what they are sending around, may be part of why this country is in such a funk currently) and actually most folks are responding pretty positively so far, even if they are disagreeing with lots of it. So all of you Awareniks out there (both of you), I am calling on all liberals to adopt the whitesheep idiots in their redstate bloodlines and start bombarding them with progressive lefty infuriating stuff. I am going to start a sister blog archiving everything (and what I get back!), so if folks want to just forward the same things they can. Remember, we are the current underdogs and them on top is dangerous. Don't be afraid of ruffling feathers or pissing off relatives; that is the point. Hit it til it breaks!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Keyes Family Values

DC Media Girl: "Maya Marcel-Keyes, self-described 'queer activist' and daughter of right-wing lunatic Alan Keyes, has outed herself. In a hearwarming demonstration of family values, Keyes has reportedly booted Maya out of the house."

Thankfully, I come from a better class of Christian than that. Compassion and love, folks, if that ain't what your god calls on you to show towards your fellow man, he ain't Jesus. Keyes is fun to watch on tv, but as a real person kicking his daughter out because he's too self-righteous and bigoted, he is disgusting.

Like that mean, nasty woman on WifeSwap last night who accused the other wife of being a pedophilic sexual predator who would try to molest her daughter. Because she was a lesbian. And lesbians can't be trusted around children because they might...what, what the fuck goes through some idiot's mind to make them say something like that? Her defense was that she was just being protective of her daughter. Bullshit, she was just being a bigot. If protection of her children was her concern, then why would she think it was any safer to put a straight woman in her house with her sons? More pedophiles are straight than gay and the gay pedophiles tend to be the ones who aren't out of the closet so where does the assertion that she needed to worry about her daughter being around married lesbian who was raising a daughter with a life-partner come from? Her own personal bigotries. What if someone had said that she shouldn't be trusted around the lesbians' daughter because she was black? She told the woman she stayed with that discriminating against gay people wasn't like discriminating against black people, because gay people can pretend to be straight and if they just kept their mouths shut and acted straight then they wouldn' have any problem. It's our fault. Yeah, lady, and you won't consider it discrimination when some one tells you you should act more 'white'. That is bullshit. People should be treated with tolerance and respect regardless of how close they manage to mimic some dumb idea of what is normal.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Informed Smackdown

Holy crap!!! Like manna from heaven, this is awsome!

The Alterman-jarvis match lately has been kind of fun, but Dr. Alterman is always fighting with someone and this is way better anyway.

jonah goldberg steps to the defense of bush's nation of retards against the reality based community and gets bitch-slapped (like he should be every time he opens his mouth). The always charming and informative Juan Cole spoke too bluntly about the stupidity of the sing-songy, we-done-right-pat-ourselves-on-the-back bullshit the chickenhawks were crowing about after the Iraqi election and poor jonah just couldn't take it this lying down. So he opened his fat mouth and spewed a little bile . . . and Dr. Cole made him choke on his own foot.

I love an angry academic. If you are going to pick a fight with someone on whatever subject, don't pick a top expert in the field if you are not a top expert in said field. Being on tv does not mean you are smart and having been allowed by a producer to talk about something publicly doesn't mean you know anything about which that of which you speak.

Oh, Jonah . . . please, please debate Juan in a public forum. Please, this would be fun. Of course, Juan, be sure if you do debate him, remember to do what Al Fraken did when he backhanded the whiney o'reilly around on book tv: do it LIVE. If you don't, Punditopia's editing rooms are not kind to intelligent interlopers. Your ideas will be soundbitten to death.

but for now, Juan is in good company with who is weighing in on his behalf. I've read bits on the cage match on Kos, Escaton, and James Wolcott's blog. Mr. Wolcott does a particularly lovely and thorough job of play by play of the event. Perhaps it isn't over yet. A boy can dream...

anyway, the original smackdown:

Informed Comment

James Wolcott weighs in:

James Wolcott: Prof Harpoons Maroon

jonah stepped again, so Juan knocks his sorry ass back to the damn mat:

Informed Comment